Mission Devotional - January 15, 2016

Opening Prayer: O creative God, who dreamt me into being before the foundations of the world. Give me the strength, the courage, and the conviction to become all that you desire for me to be. Mold me and form and shape me, that I might be conformed more and more to your image. In the name of Jesus. Amen. (Pieces II by Jim Branch)

Scripture: Luke 6:43-45

Journal: How does a fig tree grow figs? What kind of tree are you these days? What is growing on your branches? What kind of tree do you long to be? How will you be that?

Reflection: How does a fig tree grow figs? No, it's not a trick question. But it's not rocket science either. A fig tree grows figs by being what it was created to be. When it is planted in fertile soil, and tended with care and attention, and watered by the spring rains, it will grow figs. That's just who and what it is. If it tries to grow apples, or peaches, or anything other than figs for that matter, it's in for a rough go of it. Kind of makes you wonder why we ever try to be anything other than who we are.

The converse is also true. If you want to know what kind of a tree you have before you, just look at the fruit it produces and it will tell you everything you need to know. Figs are not produced by thorn bushes and grapes are not grown on bramble bushes. Thus, a good tree does not produce bad fruit, or vice versa. The kind of fruit that is growing on the vines and branches of our lives will tell us the truth about what is going on inside. So, as you look at the branches of your life these days, what does it tell you?

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

T works with the SEED Company (an affiliate organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators) in their mission to promote and accelerate Bible translation that is being done by indigenous churches and organizations in their home countries. As a Field Coordinator, T seeks to form and foster relationships with these partners by acting as a liaison between them and SEED Company. The vision of SEED Company is to see God's Word available in languages where it currently is not. Pray today for Daniel, one of the Translation Consultants, who is recovering from a heart attack and getting back to work now.

Core Leadership is a ministry of spiritual formation and leadership development. Its mission is to help strengthen and encourage the life of leaders, in the Knoxville area and beyond, by the means of spiritual nurture and leadership development. Jim Branch is the director of Core Leadership and is actively involved in the lives of people all over the city of Knoxville and beyond, as well as being active in the Powell community, where he lives. Pray for Jim today and all of those that he will connect with through his ministry in this new year.

Closing Prayer: Help me, O God, to surrender my life completely to your control and command. Give it both a plan and pattern that constantly reminds me of your presence and consistently makes me more responsive to your will. For the sake of Jesus, your Son. Amen. (Pieces II by Jim Branch)